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CP issue

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by BelleDuJour, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    In the school I am currently working in there is a visitors toilet. You go through a door to a little lobby with a handbasin, the there's a toilet behind another lockable door.
    Staff use this toilet as there are just two toilets between all staff (male and female).
    My issue is that 6th form are also allowed to use the visitor's toilet as a 'privilege' (?)
    On more than one occasion I have been to use the loo only to find a 6th form boy in the lobby area.
    Surely this could be a serious child protection issue? I'm not sure staff and students should share the same toilet facilities.
    Any thoughts?
    JeannieMc likes this.
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I agree.

    Wouldn't be happy with this.

    Wonder how school management would defend the practice if a former pupil were to allege that some abuse took place in this facility...

    JeannieMc and wanet like this.
  3. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I have mentioned this to a member of SMT (it's an indie school) who couldn't see there was a problem! I am shocked.
    wanet likes this.
  4. misspent

    misspent New commenter

    I know in Scotland that staff and pupils are definitely not allowed to use the same toilet on any given day due to CP issues-the guidelines are written somewhere I'm sure. There have been times when, because of visiting pupils, we have had to give over a staff toilet for children-On those days we are not allowed in under any circumstances.
  5. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    This is definitely not right and should not happen. I would report it following the school's child protection policy. If that does not lead to any action then either the safeguarding unit of the LA or Ofsted itself.
  6. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Thank you for your replies.
    I'm glad it's not just me who thinks this way.
  7. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    I wouldn't be keen for exactly the reasons you outline OP. This sounds like an allegation waiting to happen when a disgruntled sixth form student hasn't had the grade they want/need and then they happen to bump into the member of staff in the toilet.
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  8. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    Have you seen the school's safeguarding policy? I'd be concerned that SMT don't recognise that there is a problem.
    BelleDuJour likes this.
  9. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I'm leaving at Easter so it won't be my problem soon, but it doesn't mean I don't care.
  10. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I think this might be school policy not a national guideline. For starters I can't think of many schools which have separate staff and pupil disabled toilets rather than just one for everyone to use.
  11. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    I don't wish to preach but you should do something about it before you leave.... As adults we all have a duty to safeguard children.
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  12. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    A shared disabled toilet may not be a problem, if the toilet/washbasin are all in the same room behind a single door; then any encounter is in the corridor. (I was once new in a school and pregnant, and worried about what to do if morning sickness struck whilst at work (it never did - adrenaline seemed to get rid of it), and my kindly TA pointed out that the disabled toilet was a lot nearer than the staff toilets.)

    In fact, the problem in the OP's school could be solved by moving the lock from the inner to the outer door - perhaps a little unorthodox, though.
  13. Leigh1999

    Leigh1999 New commenter

    I had this issue in my last school and ended up having to quote workplace legislation to SLT to get it sorted.

    Staff definitely have the right to their own exclusive toilet facilities. Im pretty sure there is also some objective rule about what constitutes 'adequate' facilities that depends on the number of staff in a workplace.

    It's my understanding that the visitors toilet can be either for the use of staff or students but it can't be both.
  14. sunshineonarainyday

    sunshineonarainyday Occasional commenter

    I agree completely with everyone who has expressed concerns here. Staff and students should never share toilet facilities.

    On a similar topic, I have expressed concerns at my school that our Sixth Form students don't have their own separate facilities. That means that those in the Sixth Form use the same toilets as the year 7 students. The Upper Sixth students with autumn birthdays are 18 throughout all or nearly all of their final year with us. We always have a small but significant minority of "repeaters" - students who re-started in the Lower Sixth on different courses following disappointing A-Level results. This means that in theory a 19 year-old (repeater with an Autumn birthday) and someone who has just turned 11 (August born year 7 student) are sharing the same toilets. It just seems wrong to me.
  15. Owennnn

    Owennnn Occasional commenter

    Just to point out, all 3 colleges I've worked at (2 FE and 1 Sixth Form) have all had shared facilities for staff/pupils.
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Not sure about 'never'.

    Our Post 16 block was way away from main school. You went into the portakabin and the toilets faced you. No anteroom.

    Some staff chose to wend their weary way to the staff toilets but not all. But that was more on grounds of delicate sensibilities and the risk of being confronted by an unflushed bog than safeguarding motives.

    It never occurred to me there'd be a problem.
  17. Muldersfox

    Muldersfox New commenter

    It doesn't surprise me. One independent school I've taught in would not send kids home even if the heating wasn't working. My classroom was always freezing cold in the winter to the extent that I let kids keep their coats on, despite it being against school rules. One time when there was no running water including in the toilets, they went out and just bought bottled water.

    Quoting "workplace legislation" would merely have got me the sack as they didn't give a toss about their teachers.
  18. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    DfE summary of law here


    There must be separate pupil toilets, although disabled ones can be shared (and used by non-disabled staff and visitors). Same rules apply to LA schools, academies/free schools, and private/independent schools.

    It doesn't look as if there is a specific requirement in schools for the number of staff toilets, only that there should be "sufficient". I guess it's hard to specify precisely in schools where the number of sites and buildings can vary so much.
  19. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    I say this is a safeguarding/CP issue waiting to happen. As others have said, all it takes is some disgruntled sixth former to allege something! Or for 'Mrs Xs epic farting' to be the next viral hit on YouTube!

    The 'upper sixth and Year 7' is an interesting issue - to take this logic to its ultimate extremity, should all 18 year old sixth formers require a CRB to remain in school as they themselves theoretically become a CP issue otherwise. (Although, of course, often CP issues originate within children ie the child is the abuser.) I personally think that ideally, where facilities allow, there should be separate toilets for at least Key stages, many of us will recall the fear of starting in year 7 with the rumour that Year 11s push the head of Year 7 'sprogs' down the loo and flush it!
  20. applecrumble09

    applecrumble09 New commenter

    At the Academy where I used to work, staff and students shared toilets. The toilets were self-contained (behind each locked door was toilet, wash basin and drier), but they were unisex, and there were no separate facilities for staff/visitors. Never had any thought about it being a CP issue before.

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